As a young boy, I remember that I loved the game of baseball. During recess time at school, I would always try to get a quick game together with my friends. My brother and I would play catch in my Grandma’s back yard while she listened to the Red’s game on the radio. My only career aspiration at the time was to be a professional player. I was constantly checking the standings to see how the Red’s chances for making the playoffs fared.
Unfortunately, I was never able to play organized baseball due to the summertime demands of the farm during my youth. However, my love for the game continued through high school and college. During my senior year at Bradley University, I watched my Cincinnati Reds win the World Series. This remains a highlight for my sports fan career to this day.
However, I found my interest in the game fading as I continued to age. My attention to the players and the standings waned. I found myself spending far less time watching the game, even during the postseason. I often notice that there are star players that I haven’t even heard of and that new statistics are being used that were not in place during my immersion in the game. I believe part of this change is due to priorities of a working adult, but possibly also due to personal internal changes.
Last summer, I had the chance to watch my young nephew play in a game at a tournament near my home. Although my interest in the game is a fraction of what it was years ago, I felt the excitement of the kids as they swung the bat, ran the bases and fielded the ball. I also felt the energy of the parents, much as I did as a supporting father of young players. I also felt the comfort of a return to a familiar pastime – the peace of a simpler and innocent time in life.